blog image of dog

There is nothing in this world that Tuffington Montgomery LaRoux, III, Esq. (or Tuffy for short) enjoys more than sunbathing. Every afternoon, Tuffy sprints out of the house – a golden, fuzzy blur of tongue and fur – to joyfully greet the sun. He plops onto the grass, rolls onto his back, and blissfully kicks his paws into the air, mouth wide and smiling. He finally rolls over with a loud and satisfied huff.  

Tuffy is twelve years old, and a rescue dog. The day we met was unremarkable, for the most part – I had stopped by PetSmart to pick up dog food, and a local rescue group happened to be hosting an adoption event. Before I knew it, a very small (and very frightened) Tuffy was snuggled tightly in my arms. Seconds later, his head was firmly tucked under my chin. And then, he took a deep breath and sighed. I melted. 

I named my new dog “Tuffy,” after the Beanie Baby my brother favored when we were children. “Tuffy the Terrier” seemed like a perfect fit, and for many years, Tuffy was a devoted, contemplative companion. He became famous for his “Tuffy Hugs,” and for his consistently cheerful disposition.

In October of 2021, Tuffy’s health began to suddenly decline. After a terrifying month of endless tests, needles, and medication, Tuffy was diagnosed with diabetes. I was devastated – I couldn’t stop the constant flood of negative thoughts from pouring into my mind. What did this mean for Tuffy? Was he going to die? How much longer would I have with him? Would he be in pain from the daily injections? What if his diabetes couldn’t be controlled? 

What if?

And as I pondered, and worried, and analyzed, Tuffy sat with his face toward the sun. 

Tuffy has spent nearly every single day since his diagnosis in a state of perpetual happiness. Every afternoon, he dashes into the garden, sometimes slower than the day before, but always with a wagging tail. Tuffy finds so much contentment simply by being – no matter the circumstances of his existence. Tuffy has taught me so much about the power of positivity, and how to navigate change and difficulty with a happy and open heart. 

Tuffy and I now spend many an afternoon just being, both together and in the sunshine. I am grateful for every single bright day spent with him in these bittersweet, beautiful golden years.